The Black Maternal Summit at Hood College’s Rosenstock Hall was a groundbreaking event that aimed to address the alarming disparities in maternal health outcomes among Black women.
The summit, held on Saturday, brought together leading experts, healthcare professionals, policymakers, and community advocates to discuss and develop strategies to improve the well-being of Black mothers. The event featured panel discussions, keynote speeches, and interactive workshops, providing a platform for knowledge sharing and collaboration. Dr. Jacqueline Douge from Hood College Public Health moderated the healthcare panel and Ms. Danielle Haskin from Frederick County Health Department moderated the community panel. On the community panel were members Catherine Dorsey, Essa Smith, Ashley Chubb-Cole, and Bunmi Fakilede. The following industry experts were guests on the healthcare panel: Dr. Armstrong Ibe, an OB-GYN at Simmonds, Martin & Helmbrecht; Dr. Renee Thomas-Spencer from Capital Women’s Care; Dr. Faith Adebule, owner of Transit Health LLC; and Ms. Elizabeth Reiner, Certified Professional Midwife at Shifrah’s Sisters. Keynote speakers included Dr. Kanika Harris, Senior Director at Black Women’s Health Imperative and Dr. Valerie Newsome-Garcia, a Community Transformation Strategist for NHSA.
The summit was hosted by Black Mamas Building Bridges (BMBB), a local organization that advocates for black maternal health.
One of the key focuses of the Black Maternal Summit was to shed light on the systemic factors contributing to the disproportionately high rates of maternal mortality and morbidity among Black women. Research has consistently shown that Black women are more likely to experience complications during pregnancy and childbirth, and are at a higher risk of dying from pregnancy-related causes compared to their white counterparts. The summit aimed to address these disparities by exploring the role of implicit bias, racism, and social determinants of health in maternal outcomes, and by proposing evidence-based solutions to improve access to quality healthcare and support for Black mothers.
The Black Maternal Summit was a significant step towards raising awareness and mobilizing action to address the urgent issue of Black maternal health disparities. By bringing together a diverse range of stakeholders, the summit fostered collaboration and knowledge exchange, paving the way for innovative approaches and policies to improve the well-being of Black mothers. The event served as a catalyst for ongoing efforts to dismantle systemic barriers and ensure equitable and respectful care for all pregnant individuals, regardless of their race or ethnicity.
Visit BMBB here to get involved.